A critical analysis of social sciences learning materials in the National Professional Diploma in Education at a higher education institution.
The key purpose of this qualitative study was to explore how the social science education subject for the intermediate phase of schooling was conceptualised as a distance education learning material and what learning was intended through this learning process. The process of data collection was presented thematically within three sections. The first section presented data produced through the interview with the author of the learning material for the social science (SS) NPDE module. The second section presented a global analysis of the SS distance learning material. The third section presented a fine-grained analysis of a unit of learning within the history section of the distance learning material for the social science education. The findings of the study revealed that there was an error in the conceptualisation of the social science curriculum as an integration of history and geography. The learning material clearly shows that the construction of the social science distance learning material has clear and distinctive sections of history and geography with no indication of the integration. This study reveals a lack of alignment between curriculum intentions and the conceptualisation and construction of learning materials to support teacher learning. The analysis clearly indicated that pedagogical content knowledge development through distance learning material is minimal. On this basis the researcher proposes that should the intention of the learning programme be on developing teaching skills, then the content of learning materials need to be supported by other appropriate forms of learning.